Subscriber Discussion

Which VMS Companies "Respect" The Channel?

I heard mentioned on another discussion about VideoInsight disregarding the channel whenever they felt like it. We had actually been considering looking at them.

From an integrator standpoint, which VMS solutions do you know of that do a good job of respecting the channel versus those that don't?

I know Avigilon already is well known for tight channels.

Do you mean simply not competing with integrators directly by selling to end users / integrating themselves? Or do you mean also not even selling any licenses or appliances online?


For what it's worth, in my past as an integrator, Video Insight marketed to end users, and got themselves accepted as alternates in bids, etc., but they never sold direct here. Even on projects where we were involved in sales with another VMS, and they swooped in and sold the end user on VI, they were still giving the actual sale to an integrator. It's still shifty, especially considering we were a partner, but at least an integrator got the sale, I guess.

I think a lot of this will vary by region, though.

Genetec had the tightest channel around here. They would not open up any new dealers at all.

Avigilon is tight here, in that you need to be a dealer, but it also seemed like they had no issue setting up new dealers, despite one or two very active integrators already signed on in the market.

I remember buying Exacq licenses through distribution, without being any sort of dealer or having been trained.

Thanks for the elaboration on Video Insight. That makes me feel a little better about looking at them. Interested in any other comments anyone might have about any other products or the ones already mentioned.

Nope...They will sell you out for $1. I say don't do it. We were a big fan at one point and sold their product for many years. But over the years they have sold to more schools in Texas then any other integrator in the State and have generated a lot of mad dealers...They didn't care because the money was good. They justify it by saying that the schools asks them to do it...or they generated the interest with their own marketing.... So what? That is called lead generation for your integrators...

But they do have great support, good pricing and are very aggressive on getting things done and working with you when you have a big deal.... Probably the most aggressive team I have seen..

My understanding is that this is a regional issue, i.e., in their home areas or areas they have facilities, they deal direct but that outside of it, they go through integrators. I have heard the same thing about Texas, though it might be different in California, Florida, NY, etc. Obviously, check cautiously.

I asked Video Insight to respond to these concerns. They declined, explaining / inferring that criticisms are from VMS competitors.

Well it's one thing to say it's critcism from competitors, but it sound like they didn't answer the question of if they sell direct to end users or not.

Agreed. Non-denial denial :)

We have found that Aimetis does a very good job of managing their sales channels and making sure their products are sold ony through authorized integrators. We are an Aimetis distributor so we have good visibility on this.

Don't forget about OEMs. Kills me when manufacturers talk about protecting the channel when you can buy the product under other names.
You know it when they recognize it is "your" client and not "theirs". Ask how many VMS's protect your interests, even minimally, instead of turning a blind eye/ear, or even encouraging/assisting growing their "partner" network off your hard earned client base. I'm talking about compromising your hard earned client base to the highest bidder. Sometimes even to a yet to be authorized partner. VMS's are not partners in any sense of the word, otherwise they would write fair and mutually beneficial agreements. Not one-sided agreements. There need to be three parts to these partnerships.

We have tried very hard to buy Lenel software, licenses, parts and pieces on our own with absolutely no luck. They have even limited the number of integrators we can talk to about projects and get bids from.

I have been told DVTEL has a tight channel.

Lenel has the best policies for the channel. But lenel is not truly a VMS mfg. More like acess control.

DVTEL is an interesting one I haven't heard too much about being in actual use but I see a lot of ads. Anyone have any experiance how they do business with their integrators?

By the way, thanks everyone so far for your comments.

DVTEL is only sold through certified dealers, so they "protect the channel" pretty well. They generally operate in the large enterprise systems, but are making a push in the mid-market sized systems.